This is in collaboration with Jet2.com*
A place that has been forever high on my bucket list is Croatia. I’ve always seen such stunning pictures of the country – of its beaches and towns and the mountains surrounding – and wanted myself a little visit. So when Jet2 got in touch to chat about a press trip happening right in that very country…. well I couldn’t quite believe my eyes.
As someone who’s not a fan of the cold, dark, autumnal weather, escaping to a country still soaking up the late autumn sun sounded ideal.
As they say, European summer isn’t over yet.
And they weren’t wrong, despite it being out of season when we visited, the summer sun still baked over us like roasties in the oven.
I’ve flown with Jet2 before and they’re always so helpful and great to fly with. The fact that we could get a Jet2 flight from Manchester was such a treat and the staff were amazing – so helpful and so friendly despite the V early start. We flew straight into Split with no hiccups or delays and WAS I EXCITED TO SEE THAT SUN.
The hotel, Hotel Ivan, was a part of a huge holiday park based right on the coast, near the town of Sibenik. The last time I’d stayed in a holiday park was as an 8 year old in a little villa with my family. Well let me tell you, this was a very different kind of holiday park.
The park itself was made up of about 5 hotels, numerous pools, 3 beaches and a handful of restaurants.
Now this is the kind of place you come to relax.
The fact that the holiday park was right on the coast meant that the beaches were so quiet and private as you could only use them if you stayed in one of the hotels. There were always plenty of loungers available and it was a tranquil place to come, read a book, have a paddle and maybe even a doze.
We also decided to be adventurous and hire a little speed boat to go and explore the tiny islands off the coast. I felt a bit like a Bond girl, I won’t lie.
The hotel itself was an absolute joy. With a gorgeous bar right in the middle and plenty of places to plonk yourself with a drink in hand. The hotel was called Hotel Ivan and is actually a part of Jet2’s Luxe collection of holidays. The Luxe means you get 22kg baggage allowance which is SUCH A TREAT. I cannot tell you the amount of times I have had to fork out because of the over-packer that I am – so to have a guaranteed 22kg was a dream!
I must admit though, I was not prepared for how cold the night’s get in Croatia. I think autumn has truly hit because shorts are a big no-no after 6pm. The pictures look cute but just know there was a lot of shivers occurring while in the making.
The wonderful thing about the hotel was that, as well as an outdoor pool, there was a gorgeous, heated indoor option in the spa. One which we visited on many occasion when we started to feel a bit too much of a breeze outside. The floor to ceiling windows surrounded by palm trees made it feel like you were outside, while you sat and relaxed in the heated jacuzzis.
The food in the hotel was also amazing. As someone who has been to her fair share of buffets, I tried with caution at hotel buffets. But MY GOODNESS this was not your average hotel buffet. For starters, the first night we had mussels. Enough said.
The choice with food at the resort was amazing, and as well as the gorgeous hotel restaurant, there were also 3 other restaurants around the park which we could venture to. My favourite HAD to be the authentic Croatian restaurant – with its authentic cuisine and live music it was such a magical night.
We decided to venture out of the park for a day as well and found ourselves exploring the local town of Sibenik. Famous for its cathedral and many (many) forts, the town was just gorgeous in itself. I will tell you now though to bring your walking shoes – as the town is built on a hillside, there are more stairs than residence. And oooooh do you feel the thigh burn.
Despite the fact that the trip was short and sweet, 4 days to be exact, we had an absolutely wonderful time. I’m so so grateful for Jet2 for organising the trip and giving me and Alex a much needed break away from the real world.
You can head to Jet 2’s website HERE to book your own amazing Croatian experience. I’m already planning a trip back again next year to relive the experience!